As he tries to build his consulting business, David Ferreira is making sure he doesn't get sick over the next six months. He's counting down the days until he can sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
"I like the idea of finally being able to get care," said Ferreira. He's gone without health insurance this year, after starting his own firm. Due to pre-existing conditions, the only plan that would insure him cost $1,500 a month.
"I will not be able to be denied because I'm plus-sized, and because I had childhood asthma," he explained, because starting next year he cannot be denied coverage for prior illnesses under ACA, also known as Obamacare.
But starting in 2014, Ferreira will also be required to buy insurance under the health law, or pay a fine ranging from $95 or up to 1 percent of his income. In his income bracket, Ferreira won't qualify for tax credits to make his insurance coverage more affordable, which concerns him.
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"Nobody's entirely sure how much it's going to cost," said the Washington, D.C.-based consultant just days before the city offered new details of plan offerings for 2014.
The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority said four major insurers have submitted proposals to offer plans on its marketplace next year, including Aetna and United HealthCare. Proposed rates, published in late June, range from about $170 to $330 a month for individuals about 40 years old, and roughly $300 to $600 a month for those in their 50s.